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1/32 Snipe, RE.8 and DH.9a Belts for the Wingnut Wings kits

James H

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1:32 Seatbelts for Sopwith Snipe, RE.8 and DH.9a

Catalogue # and price: see article

Available from HGW




HGW are busy filling in the back catalogue of Wingnut Wings releases with laser cut editions of their excellent seatbelt sets. These microfibre and photo-etch belts really are in a league of their own. The sets we've been sent are:

There's no doubt that HGW's packaging is very sturdy, yet attractive too, with the microfibre sheet and photo etch fret being affixed to a decorative display inlay using low-tack adhesive. The inside of the clear, re-sealable wallets also contain a very stiff card to prevent damage.




Essentially, these sets contain the same components, as the belts themselves (lap belts) were of the same pattern for these different machines. Of course, the RE.8 and DH.9A were two seat machines, and the Snipe a single seat fighter, so the parts count per set reflects this. Despite the RE.8 and DH.9a containing the same number of microfibre parts, the sheet layout of the parts is slightly different. This means that if you have either of these sets, they can still essentially be used for either machine. The same applies if you have one of the two seater sets, yet with to complete two single seat Snipes.






The photo etch frets for the two seaters are also identical, except for the product etched label. Curiously, the frets for the two seat machines actually carry enough parts for FOUR belts, so if you are a little savvy, you could use these with home-made paper/foil parts at a later date. The Snipe set contains only enough photo etch for a single belt set.

HGW's microfibre belt sets really are a revolution in modeling. I've always struggled a little to get photo etch belts to look correct, and if they are colour printed, then extra care must be taken. Tin foil belts have generally worked better for me, but of course, you need to paint them. HGW's microfibre belts are printed in full colour onto a synthetic fabric. These are then precisely laser-cut, leaving you with only a small number of tags to cut through to release the part from the sheet.




The laser cutting process also has the pleasant after effect of slightly discolouring the inks around the edges of the parts, giving a superb organic look. The laser process is also used to etch stitching, where applicable. These only tend to show when you apply a wash, giving a thoroughly authentic look. The actual colour printing process reproduces the material appearance of the real thing, with printed stitching too.






To prepare these parts, you must first scrunch them into a small ball and manipulate them between the fingers for a couple of minutes. This makes the material pliable and easy to form. When straightened out, you assemble the belts using tiny spots of CA. I prefer to use gel for this purpose as it's easy to precisely assemble the parts when you have a few moments before the glue finally cures.

The belts can be weathered and washed using oils and pastels also, without any risk to the integrity of the assembly.

The photo etch parts, manufactured by Eduard, are first rate, with just a little folding required for the clasps. All parts are easy to remove from the fret due to small connection tags.






The instructions for all three sets are identical, being printed on an insert in the rear of the packet. Microfibre and photo=etch parts are distinguishable with red ink used to denote the fabric parts, and ble for the metal. Alternative connection parts are supplied, depending on whether you connect the belts to the seat direct, using an etch clasp, or via a fabric sling arrangement.


So what do we think?

Three more sets which are very likely to please Wingnut Wings fans who have not only the recent Snipe, but also the older releases too. Again, quality is excellent, and the price very reasonable. Certainly nothing to criticize at all with these releases.


Very highly recommended.


My sincere thanks to HGW for the review samples used here. To buy directly, click THIS link.


James H





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Hi James,

Great review and pics.

I have the older version of the Ninak seatbelts and had to cut them out myself. Also these feature holes instead of black dots. Looks like a great product.





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